V12 Vantage

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2012 Aston Martin V12 Vantage Overview

For 2012, Aston Martin once more offers its V12 Vantage hatchback coupe to U.S. consumers. Squeezing a 510-hp 12-cylinder powerplant into a V8-designated engine compartment presented some interesting geometric gymnastics, to say the least. However, this distillation of the British automaker’s DBS and Vantage lineups results in a two-seater with attitude, agility and aplomb, targeting the sports-car aficionado who desires the ride comfort of a GT. The ultra-potent V12 Vantage absolutely comes through on both counts—for a hefty price.

Nonetheless, this powerful yet near-practical coupe impresses reviewers with its confident blend of touring posh and racing excitement, comparing favorably with Porsche’s legendary 911 Turbo S and Lamborghini’s Gallardo. Then there are such alternatives as Audi’s R8 5.2 and the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, each of which will provide variations of greater acceleration and tighter handling for about the same money. None of the V12 Vantage’s rivals, however, offer the semi-practicality of 10 cubic feet of trunk space.

At the heart of the 2012 V12 Vantage is its 510-hp 6.0-liter V12 engine. This massive mill combines with the standard 6-speed manual transmission for 420 lb-ft of torque, and its nearly perfect balance melds seamlessly with the sport-tuned suspension, precise steering and standard performance tires, making for some exhilarating road trips. Meanwhile, expect an EPA-estimated 11 mpg city/17 highway from the V12, and be prepared also to burn only premium-grade gasoline.

Among the various appearance doodads expected of this exotic coupe are 19-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler and, in the Carbon Black trim, a chrome grille. Additionally, the necessarily oversize brake calipers on the Base are available in a host of eye-catching hues. Inside, plush leather upholstery adorns the power-adjustable bucket seats, with the Base offering a suede steering wheel and carbon door trim, and the Carbon Black sporting genuine wood, leather and carbon trim on the doors, dash and console. Remote power door locks, power windows and heated power-adjustable outside mirrors are standard in both 2012 V12 Vantage trims, as are cruise control and telescoping tilt-wheel steering. Automatic climate control and a universal remote garage door opener also come standard in both the Base and the Carbon Black, while standard entertainment is provided by a 160-watt stereo in the Base trim and Aston Martin’s 6-speaker 700-watt premium audio system endowing the Carbon Black. Each system additionally sports auxiliary iPod integration and a USB connection, with the premium system adding standard satellite radio. Finally, both trims are delivered with standard hard-drive-based navigation, phone pre-wiring and Bluetooth hands-free communications technology.

Of course, the Base V12 Vantage is eligible for a number of features that come standard in the Carbon Black, while both trims can be delivered with further available add-ons. Options include upgraded 19-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels, heated sport bucket seats and upgraded cabin posh, as well as a Bang & Olufsen 1,000-watt BeoSound audio system that boasts 5 tweeters and 5 woofers.

Safety-wise, each of the 2012 V12 Vantage trims comes with 4-wheel antilock braking (ABS), traction and stability control and side-mounted curtain airbags. Lesser standard safety accoutrements include self-leveling high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights and a remote antitheft alarm, while an upgraded remote security system remains an available option.

Owner reviews regarding the V12 Vantage are virtually non-existent. It would be safe to say, however, that those fortunate enough to own one (or more) of these high-end 2-seaters are too busy slaloming the highways and back roads of the world to put thoughts to hard drive.


Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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V12 Vantage

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